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Pumpkin-Ginger Tunnel Cake

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Kate Sears

Servings: 12 to 14

This not-too-sweet cake gets a double dose of ginger: dried ginger in the spice mix used to flavor the cake and finely diced crystallized ginger in the cake’s creamy filling. To make chopping sticky crystallized ginger easier, lightly oil your knife.


For the filling

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped crystallized ginger

For the cake

  • Softened unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 10 oz. (2-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin purée
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 450
      Fat Calories (kcal): 220
      Fat (g): 25
      Saturated Fat (g): 8
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
      Cholesterol (mg): 110
      Sodium (mg): 440
      Carbohydrates (g): 54
      Fiber (g): 2
      Protein (g): 7


Make the filling

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer) beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, ginger, and salt on medium speed until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition just until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and then the crystallized ginger. Transfer to a 1-quart liquid measure and set aside.

Make the cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
  • Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk the pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. In 3 or 4 additions, add the dry ingredients, whisking well between each addition.
  • Fill the prepared Bundt pan with about half of the batter. Stir the filling to redistribute the chopped ginger. While dragging a large serving spoon through the center of the batter to create a trough, pour all of the filling into the trough; it may overflow the trough a bit, which is OK. Carefully spoon the remaining batter on top and spread to cover.
  • Bake until a skewer inserted all the way to the bottom comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate and remove the cake pan. Cool completely. (If not serving the cake within a couple of hours, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days; serve cold or at room temperature.) Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.


Rate or Review


  • user-4229084 | 12/08/2014

    This is the second time I have made this cake. This time I just made half of the filling and this worked out just fine. 12 oz of cream cheese was way too much. I also used half AP flour and half white whole wheat to build the flavor. Rose to the top of the bundt pan. Came out a treat.

  • MontanaGardener | 10/10/2014

    I have made this several times now, but I only make the cake and not the filling. It makes a great gingerbread. For the sugar, I use 1/2 white and 1/2 brown. I am tempted to replace the oil with applesauce, but haven't done that yet.

  • syrinx61 | 02/07/2014

    Sadly, a bit disappointing. Like others, I had the problem with the trench for the filling, and the fact it took 20 minutes longer to bake. Even then, the batter was still raw near the filling and the outside was dry/overcooked. Filling texture was "eggy" and almost curdled. Nice concept, shame it failed.

  • piney10 | 12/02/2013

    I made this for thanksgiving and was a little disappointed... until I refrigerated it. When it's refrigerated, that's when the flavors come out. I don't know why, it makes no sense, but it was an entirely different cake and now I can't get enough of it. I also had no trouble tunneling it, it turned out just like the picture. I'm SO going to be making this again. Delicious! Also, I couldn't find crystallized ginger so I grated about 2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger into the filling instead. And I substituted the vegetable oil for the same amount of melted butter.

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